YMMV: Neverwinter Nights 2

  • Angst? What Angst?: Despite the discrimination Neeshka faces due to her tiefling nature, she's very upbeat and probably the most laid-back party member in the original campaign.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Some view Casavir as a cool, somewhat suave Knight in Sour Armour who makes for a touching Love Interest. Others see him as dull and rather bland, and many, many women wish his romance had not received priority over that of Bishop. There's also a middle ground.
  • Catharsis Factor: After all his transgressions, after all his smug, self-satisfied taunting, the player finally gets to kill Black Garius off for real — and boy howdy is it satisfying.
  • Cliché Storm: Let's start with the fact that it's a game where the main character grew up in a small town, which was attacked by the armies of a guy named The King of Shadows, so you can venture forth for the mystical Infinity+1 Sword, and work our way down.
    • For reference, your companions consist of a gruff-but-fair dwarf who loves a good fight, a girl with demonic heritage who isn't evil, a cryptic, wise elven woman who prefers to avoid conflict, a pair of arrogant, snarky magicians (one of whom is a hothead with fire spellsand control issues and the other is a studious wizard), a paladin straight out of a high fantasy novel who grapples with his morality, a gruff ranger with a bow and a sarcastic streak, a ridiculous gnome with keen engineering skills whose antics are mostly played for comedy, a Stripperific alien from a bizarre alternate culture who reveals the secrets behind your Infinity+1 Sword, a grumpy old man who kicks ass despite his age and a walking suit of armour. Only Shandra actually comes across as original in any meaningful way.
  • Complete Monster: Black Garius, the self-proclaimed "Master of the Fifth Tower," is the leader of the Cult of Shadow, a group of necromancers that plunders grave sites and old battle sites for corpses to their army and tries to free the King of Shadows. Or so it seems. In reality, he wants to exploit the King for power, something he can't get enough of; treats his subordinates as expendable pawns (even his own Dragon admits this if you spare her after his death) and was ready to wipe out the remaining cultists as soon as he was done with the ritual to bind the King. However, the ritual is botched and he dies, only to be revived as a Shadow Reaver, a slave to the King. Even after that, he's perfectly fine with his state, as he has more magical powers than he had in life. His greatest atrocity in the game was ordering the massacre of a peaceful village in order to Frame the Player Character, who had thwarted his efforts. If you prove yourself innocent in the court, he shows no regret over the people that died, but is enraged over his minions for failing him and kills Lorne on the spot if you didn't do it yourself. Garius was all in all a smug, power-hungry backstabber with no redeeming features whatsoever.
  • Crazy Awesome: Khelgar considers using his weapons to be unfair.
    • Ribsmasher! HA!
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • An in-story example: arguing your defense at trial. In song. Flusters the prosecutor and wins you the crowd.
    • "Approaching the Spirit Army" from the Mask soundtrack.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Bishop, Bishop, Bishop. Doesn't matter that the guy is basically evil to the core and a bit of a jerk besides; he's Mr. Fanservice through and through and that's what people remember him for.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Because of his bottomless pit of snark, combined with his versatility and usefulness, Sand developed a decent following for himself.
    • Khelgar, because of the awesome rant he gives after the trial, his snark, and the fact that he is a very well constructed tank, both as a Fighter and when he becomes a Monk.
    • Shandra, as noted under Too Cool to Live.
    • The extremely Affably Evil baatezu Mephasm.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Male Knight Captain/Neeshka and Female Knight Captain/Bishop or Sand. Neeshka was an option but cut due to time; even so, the leftovers have several flirtatious lines that, to some people, flow better than the sudden confessions of stalking and Jailbait Wait from the actual love interest. This hit such a level that one of the developers tried to defend the game's Official Couple, claiming that Neeshka was never intended to be anyone's love interest, and that the devs didn't understand nor appreciate the fans' fervor along such lines. No one believed a word of it.
    • The male PC and Shandra Jerro, which may have been shaped to look like an Official Couple before Shandra's horrible death.
    • Female Knight Captain/Bishop, by a slight majority. The fact that Casavir's romance may come across as a poor substitute left some fans a little bitter.
  • Iron Woobie: When asked about her past, Neeshka rattles off an incredibly depressing backstory. She doesn't care, though — she's just happy that someone's taking an interest.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mephasm, who never overtly does anything evil by his own will in the story, yet nobody has the slightest doubt that he's as bad as they come.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Evil PCs are offered a chance to cross it at the end, slaughtering all your former party members before taking Garius' place at the head of the King of Shadows' army.
    • Ammon Jerro freely admits he's crossed it, and doesn't look back unless the player has high influence with him. He doesn't try to justify the morality of it, simply saying that he tried more polite options first to no gain, and that he'll accept the fate he's earned.
    • Glack Garius ordering the massacre of Ember to the last man, woman, child and even pet, except for one witness, solely for the purpose of framing the Player Character in the hopes of getting rid of him/her, and showing no regret for it.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The various "I can't carry any more" soundbites get real old, real fast. Characters complain whenever they pass certain encumbrance thresholds, which are very low for most magic users — and unfortunately, magic users tend to be the ones who can identify magic items, which need to be in the identifier's inventory, and are often quite heavy.
    Sand: "I am not a pack mule and I can't move carrying all this stuff!"
    • "Sure, I can do that! ...All done!" is heard quite a bit in dungeons. Since interacting with the environment with a skill never takes more than a few seconds, and traps and treasure chests are often clustered together, the barks are played to annoyance.
    • "I THINK IT IS TIME EVERYONE MARCH BEHIND ME, YOUR NEW GL-L-LORIOUS LEADER!"
    • Grobnar's battle cries. Tolerating his voice is hard enough when he's not squealing at you.
    • The air elemental's constant wind blowing sound its making, even when standing still.
    • The Magic Circle against Alignment spell. Whenever someone enters or exits it, it has to make a dawn bell-like sound. Now imagine a whole party of six adventurers going in and out of the circle constantly, because no one has a decent pathfinding
  • Narm: Half of the voiced villains and baddies are trying way too hard to sound evil.
  • Player Punch: Shandra's death. She was just so... likeable.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Qara, for being a pyromaniac sorceress with an overinflated sense of importance and a tendency to destroy loot chests with her splash damage. Her rivalry with fan favorite Sand doesn't help matters, and the fact that she is so frickin petty really annoys some players. During the below-mentioned Something Awful LP, the voters hated her as well, partially because they wanted to have high influence with Sand.
    • Grobnar, for being an annoying cloudcuckoolander with little combat potential. Many players would love to be able to have Qara set him on fire when he joins up. Although some of his dialog is admittedly pretty funny.
    • Elanee to a lesser extent, because of her romance plot, and just not being as interesting as Neeshka. Something Awful members at least hate her, for when a Let's Play of this game was done and allowed audience participation (to judge how the PC would treat companions), most of the forum voted that the Player Character hate her.
    • Also to a lesser extent, Casavir, who many see as a walking paladin stereotype with a personality made out of cardboard. The fact that his romance made it into the final product over that of Bishop made it worse.
  • Scrappy Level:
    • The final area, which apart from its general bugginess is also decidedly less fair than any previous dungeon, including yanking your ability to grab a quick rest out of enemy sight and consequently screwing over most spellcasters in the party.
      • On the other hand, the huge coolness of controlling all of your companions in the final battle, minus a few dirty traitors who you get to beat the hell out of, and the extremely cool ending for the evil side do their best to make up for it. On the other other hand, said battle is very clunky even by this game's standards.
    • The Orc Caves. They only have a tenuous connection to the main plot, they consist almost entirely of dull undergound areas full of hidden traps that seem to go on forever and demonstrate the game's obnoxious use of hordes of identical cookie-cutter bad guys. The fact that Casavir muscles his way into the party at this juncture really doesn't help matters.
    • The entirety of Moire's quest in the Docks. You have to swim through hordes of rival thugs (that love to Back Stab you) to get to the guardposts of the city guard and try to get them on your side. And fight them when you fail (who invests into social skills so early in the game anyway?). After that, and a brief filler mission, you have to escort a wagon through a long street chock full of rival thugs (So much for Moire ruling over the docks) and heavily armored city guards, which will eagerly team up on you. After a forced ambush by the thugs (So Much for Stealth), you arrive on the warehouse only to find the City Guard waiting for you inside, complete with clerics that love to curse and lower your stats for the remainder of the scenario, as this last area has no exit.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Crafting in the OC. You need to fulfill several requirements to craft or enchant items. It's very difficult and frustrating to keep track of the needed components and spells levels as you need to navigate several windows (inventory, receipe books, spellbooks, character sheet, etc) and there's no check list.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Qara's conflict with Jochris drops off and is never mentioned again. In the Orc Caves she can discover the bodies of her fellow students, even some she almost liked, being raised as experimental zombie mages and vow to fight and destroy the one who did that to them, but somehow that ends up as a Bizarro Episode in an otherwise unflattering career. She remains the same Static Character she starts out as and doesn't even get a decent personal questline to make up for it. Maybe people wouldn't hate her so much if they had found a way to give her more closure or character growth?
    • Speaking of the orcs, their involvement in the plot is pointless and generic. They and Casavir are reduced to a cliched Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Evil conflict where the orcs are waging war over land, resources or just for the hell of it (no one really knows why) and Casavir is trying to stop them because of his Chronic Hero Syndrome. Even the "Katalmach" label of "one who loses himself in battle" is misplaced — it turns out, Casavir only got involved out of compassion and generic good-guy-ness, and even has it in his heart to feel pity for the orcs. And when it's over, the whole thing is referenced again only once — during the player's trial in Act II as an example of their good character. The whole affair reeks of padding and undeveloped opportunities.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Shandra stands out among a party otherwise exclusively made up of very unoriginal characters as a Deadpan Snarker (not unlike Jolee Bindo for that matter) and master of Who Writes This Crap?! and dies. The setting allows resurrection easily and unlike the other time an ally dies, you are easily of sufficient level and wealth to bring her back.
    • Possibly justified by the setting requirements for resurrection. In 3.5 D&D, nobody can be raised from the dead against their will, and Shandra was only ever a reluctant participant in the storyline. There's also a possibility someone was preventing her from coming back — Shandra's final acts did, after all, involve at least one bargain with a devil.
  • Ugly Cute: Kistrel, a Gentle Giant spider that you can befriend and adopt as a pet.
  • What an Idiot: Turning against the player because you think Qara is a bigger threat to the world than the army of shadow-infused undead currently in the process of destroying it? Not your brightest moment, Sand.

Mask of the Betrayer

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Ammon Jerro tells you Grobnar attempted to save a 12 foot Blade Golem by blocking a pillar with his frail gnome body at the end of the OC.
    • If Qara was on your side in the final battle of the original game, she gets her head crushed in by a rock. Sand lives by transforming himself into an Iron Golem.
  • Growing the Beard: It is said that Neverwinter Nights 2 is only the prologue to this story.
  • Internet Backdraft: The Wall of the Faithless. It's a combination of Edition Wars and Religious Wars rolled into one - mentioning it anywhere will cause a fight to break out.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The player leading several innocent people, including Anya, to a gruesome death at the hands of spirit eater-worshipping uthraki.
    • Alternately, forcing the Spirit-Eater Curse to devour the Red Woman, effectively rendering Akachi's sacrifice completely moot.
    • Myrkul was evil long before creating the Wall of the Faithless and the Sprit Eater Curse, but those two acts were enough to take him from "acceptable levels of evil" to "completely, utterly, irredeemably evil".
  • Player Punch: More like Player Punch in Hindsight, but Myrkul's back in 5E. Sorry.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The original campaign is a fun, Slayers-esque romp through the Sword Coast, but its heavy reliance on clichés (intentional or not) rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and led to divided opinions (to say nothing of the bugs). MotB, on the other hand, is regarded by many players as the best D&D-styled CRPG since Planescape: Torment.

Storm of Zehir

  • Crazy Awesome: Ribsmasher is back, and continues to practice his ribsmashing-focused fighting style.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Storm of Zehir has some excellent music. The brass in the main menu theme is particularly good.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A mild case, but people who spared Okku, romanced a companion, or got the Bind/Devour endings choose to disregard the presence of One-of-Many and Khelgar's claim that the Knight-Captain returned to Crossroad Keep.